Saucer of Gnarly steals the show


Maddie Seiler, Reporter

Ever since 2009, Big Spring’s teacher rock band, Saucer of Gnarly, has performed at Mini-THONs for hundreds of young attendees eager for a show, and at Mini-THON 2017, they didn’t disappoint.

The band is currently composed of 6 members, Lauren Hetrick (lead vocals, drums), Matthew Tiffany (drums, vocals), Sean Stevenson (bass), Brandon Adams (not a teacher, guitar), Daryl Balseiro (bass), Dwain Messersmith (guitar).

Since its beginning in 2009, Saucer of Gnarly has seen some changes. For instance, Mini-THON 2017 was Stevenson’s first performance and in 2009, Christa Daugherty was a singer. The four founding members are Hetrick, Tiffany, Messersmith, and Balseiro.

“It was nice to have 2 music teachers in the group (Tiffany and Balseiro), but they weren’t playing instruments; they were very comfortable with themselves, so it was a learning opportunity for all of us,” Hetrick said.

“When we formed, we couldn’t find any teachers willing to play the drums,” Tiffany said. “I volunteered to learn and it’s been a lot of fun. I was pretty awful in the beginning, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it.”

Hetrick admitted that the band doesn’t have the time to practice as often as members would like.
“We rehearsed maybe 6 or 7 times between Mini-THON 2015 and 2017,” she said. “It’s not an every week type of thing. We’d love to practice more, but sometimes our schedules don’t align.”

“We have a nice little basement set up with some Christmas lights and a PA system and a drum set,” Stevenson said. “The base is already there, so I just show up, go into the basement, and we jam.”

Many students are surprised to learn that the teacher band has a name. Saucer of Gnarly, was created by an online band name generator. “It definitely fits us because sometimes when we play, we just stop and look at each other and be like, ‘That was gnarly.’” Hetrick said.

In an interview, band members shared their favorite songs to perform.

Hetrick said her favorite song this past Mini-THON was “I Love Rock’n’Roll.” “I didn’t realize that the students knew that song so well and that they’d be singing along with us. That was a cool moment. If I didn’t sing, I wouldn’t have had to, because the students knew all the words and were just having a good time.”

Stevenson said his favorite song to perform was “‘Enter Sandman’ because it’s rockin’ and it’s fun on base. There’s a lot of energy in it.”

Tiffany’s favorite song to play was “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. “I get to play really loud and use the whole kit,” he said.

Students seemed to really appreciate and enjoy the band’s performance.

“I loved it so much!” Senior Vangie Kennedy said. “It was great! It’s really fun to see teachers not being teachers and just having fun and showing their talents. My favorite part was Hetrick. She’s amazing!”

“It surprised me that they dressed up so in character and I thought they were really good,” Sophomore Ella Pagel said. “I think their tattoo arm sleeves were funny!”

Hetrick said, “The band is on Twitter @saucer of gnarly and also on Facebook. If students have photos or videos from Mini-THON, we’d love to see them!”

While this year’s performance is over, the band is already looking forward to next Mini-THON.
“I think it’s be cool next Mini-THON to have a Battle of the Bands to see more kids getting involved in the bands. It’s positive energy and it’s doing something fun,” Stevenson said.

Hetrick said, “We just wanted to get up there, have fun, and help energize people for the 12 hours of Mini-THON!”